November 19th, 2008

Last Saturday, Danica and I attended a one day abstract art workshop given by Wayne Boucher. I met Wayne over twenty years ago at the opening of the National Gallery and I have always admired the pizzas of his abstracts.

Danica and I had a terrific day. We smeared on colour with oil sticks and then swiped it off. Because of the fluid process of abstract art creating, I felt like I'd done fifty pieces for each one that I ended up with. They morphed and evolved and the sparkle disappeared only to be recreated differently with the next layer of paint. I've decided that the next time I try an abstract, I'm going to photograph it evolving as the process was fascinating.

Wayne said to use only two colours and to focus on a simplified idea. I'm wondering if abstract can be as complex as realism and also if it might not represent any idea but rather be an idealess happening of colour, form, texture, tone.

This week, I wasn't quite in the mental space to carry on with abstract (and also I'm missing some materials). Yet I was too moved to go back and just paint the way I usually work.. I've just finished two loose watercolours of recent images, a close-up of rocks at Peggy's Cove and some yellow grass and red foliage that I saw on last weeks day trip with Laurie to Lunenburg. Both of these paintings were done standing up with arm action only and no wrist action. They both have a glow and a charm for me.

Yesterday, we woke up and it was a glorious winter day. Lots of smow and sunshine and so still in my pajamas, with my ski jacket on top, I headed outside and took some photos of our marsh. Glorious. A few minutes later, the light was gone behind a cloud, and the moment of inspiration was past.